Surely we have all seen this scene: outside a shops front door, stood a loud speaker, playing very noisy repetitive sound: Last 3 days, closing down sales. And the shop covered with handwritten poster read:”Last 3 days.” Here’s the gimmick, these businesses are playing numbers to create scarcity, trying to motivate consumption, and you may see the same poster after a week on your return visit.

You would not be surprised in finding the same technique used on the net, the best example is the B to C (Business to Consumer) online stores, along with social networks such as facebook marketplace. We will discuss the four ways of using numbers to attract online shoppers in greater detail.

1. Create an atmosphere of scarcity and urgency
There is a sense of urgency we see “while stock lasts” and “limited time offer”. In terms of time, it uses a countdown to create a perception “you will be regretful if you don’t buy now”. A generate action usually takes place when time is close to the end. In terms of quantity, you may see on some online stores adding next to the product “finishing soon”, consumers usually cannot stand this kind of stimulation and take immediate action.

2. Create contrast, make buyers feel “bargain”
These days, buyers won’t recklessly make a purchase decision until they feel it is the “cheapest” and the “best”. Usually they like to shop around and compare different offers, ultimately make a judgement on the best “bargain”. You may see this on an online store, sellers will cross out the original price and highlight the discount in red, because buyers may not notice how much savings they can make if they do not compare to the original price, and often they do not care if the sellers are being genuine on the pricing.

Edited By Dan Li